A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Social Emotional Learning – Performance & Workshop

Social Emotional Shakespeare Workshops

Shakespeare is fantastic tool for teaching social and emotional learning. Through his complex text and conflicted characters, Shakespeare provides a rich experience for students to explore and hone their most foundational life skills: self-awareness, critical thinking, empathy, relationship-building and more.

How Shakespeare Teaches Social-Emotional Learning

From rage and betrayal to love and joy, Shakespeare’s got them all. Through storytelling, role-playing, movement and conversations, we help students deep dive into their own emotions and learn how to identify and process them in new ways. This is among the most powerful and cathartic work we do.

Theater helps students get outside of themselves and build connections with one another. During our Shakespeare workshops, students learn how to handle conflict, work cooperatively and communicate thoughtfully in a safe environment.

In order to play Shakespeare’s deeply human characters, students must first understand them. By using Shakespeare’s text and purposeful theater games, students explore the psychology behind complex characters. By working on roles from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, they learn about back-story, labelling, and perspective-taking.  By doing so, they build greater compassion, empathy and emotional intelligence.

The process of making theater is filled with milestones for students—from learning their first few lines to pulling off a captivating performance. We help students set individual and collective goals for their workshop experience and then provide a framework for reaching those goals and falling short. In doing so, we help students bolster both their confidence and their resilience.

Research shows that students who engage in social and emotional learning activities have lower rates of anxiety, depression and emotional distress and improved attitudes of themselves, helping abilities and academic performances. We’re thrilled to offer schools this new opportunity to help kids unleash their creativity and imagination while boosting these crucial skills.

Interested in bringing our Shakespeare workshop to your school? Get in touch!

5 Keys to Social and Emotional Learning, Edutopia
The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL)

Our Cast

Benefits of our Work

Our theater programs help students…

  • Build their social and emotional skills. As schools look for opportunities to integrate social and emotional learning into their in-school and after-school programs, our customized SEL workshops tie research-backed SEL competencies with meaningful Shakespeare theater events.
  • Explore and understand the human condition. The characters we explore are conflicted, complex and deeply human. In order to understand them, we have meaningful conversations about what it means to be human.
  • Boost executive functioning skills. We create opportunities for students to further hone their EF skills—like paying attention, remembering details, switching focus (and more!)—in a joy-filled, playful environment.
  • Tap into their innate empathy. Theatre making provides children with the skills they need to be compassionate. Each of our experiences is designed to help kids build their social and emotional intelligence through the artistry of theater and play.
  • Create connections and a sense of community. Theatre allows ALL kinds of kids to get outside themselves and build connections with one another.
  • Learn how to think outside of the box. The most innovative and successful organizations want employees who know how to think differently. Our theater programs teach kids how to build their imagination and continue to exercise it throughout their lives.
  • Bring the lessons they’re learning in the classroom to life. We partner with schools to create customized curriculums that tie in ELA and Common Core with meaningful theater events. Our Mock Trial and Shakespeare residency programs are thrilling learning experiences.  While they benefit classroom teachers they also provide indelible and exciting frameworks for academic material and an opportunity for kids to stretch themselves beyond what they thought possible.

In The Press

We have loved developing our relationship with Child’s Play NY. From their creative after school classes, to the in-school production, Jocelyn and her team have opened our eyes and our imaginations. There is creativity and thought poured into every movement, action and direction. We are so lucky to have them help us develop our Co-op School theater program!

Meredith Gray

Executive Director, The Co-Op School

Jocelyn designed thoughtful, intentional, intellectually pressing, age-appropriate, rich, detailed lesson plans that I still use to this day.  Her level of professionalism and commitment is unparalleled, and her positive energy is infectious.

Elissa Krebs

Head of English Department, Packer Collegiate Institute

Jocelyn was an exceptional addition to our classroom community. Though our class had a set of diverse needs, Jocelyn was able to seamlessly integrate every child in our into the drama experience, mentoring them along the way. We recommend her wholeheartedly to classrooms citywide.

Tara Maurice

Head Teacher, PS3


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest Child's Play NY news and updates.

You have Successfully Subscribed!